After 13 years, tier-2 cities in Karnataka to get development plans

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KEY STORY

  • Several major cities in the state score low on the livability index mainly due to lack of proper urban planning and unregulated growth. Shockingly, comprehensive development plans (CDP) for cities have not been drawn up for the last 13 years. Taking note of this, the State Government on Tuesday ordered that CDPs be prepared immediately for tier-2 cities like Kalaburagi, Ballari, Vijayapura and Davangere.
  • Speaking to TNIE, Urban Development Minister B A (Byrathi) Basavaraj said, “I have ordered for the CDP for these cities to be taken up and executed immediately.’’ But it could still be months away as there is first a provisional approval and then final approval for the plans.
  • However, unlike earlier, the CDPs, or master plans, will mandatorily be based on Geographical Information Systems. Town planners insist that a Comprehensive Development Plan is a must for any city and its proper growth.
  • Former director of Town and Country Planning, S B Honnur, said, “Once a CDP or master plan is ready, there will be mandatory land use restrictions. If there is no CDP/masterplan, there may be no restriction on land use and consequently, development can be haphazard.’’
  • Experts point to various instances, especially in small towns and cities, where there is unplanned growth — hospitals or residential areas being located very close to noisy industries or having serious zoning violations.

CONCLUSION

  • Referring to political interference, they recalled how in one part of Kalaburgi, where there are historical monuments and marshy land, major land use violations took place despite objections from town planners.
  • “Singapore was a mess about 60-70-years-ago, replete with zoning violations. But thanks to proper town planning and participation of citizens, it was transformed into one of the most beautiful cities. Former CM S M Krishna had planned to develop Bengaluru on the lines of Singapore and a team had even visited that city in 2004,” a town planning expert pointed out.

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